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12-14-2007, 07:18 PM   #1
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6 new lens at once; need advice

I was browsing through Craig's list the other day and saw someone selling 2 pentax cameras and lens for $175 without a very complete list of the properties of the lens. Since I commute by the location, I called and asked if I could see the equipment. It turns out it was a professional photographer and was getting rid of her older equipment and did not want to be bothered in going through hassles of splitting and selling separately. For this price I was not going to get hurt. This is what I got:

pentax ME super
pentax MX (might be damaged)

Asahi Lens:
SMC M 20mm F4
SMC M 28 mm F2.8
SMC M 40 mm F2.8
SMC M 50mm F4
SMC M 80-200 F4.5 (may have fungi or internal fingerprint need to look in better light)

Spiratone Mirror lens Minitel M 500mm F8

Assorted Hoya and Tiffen filters all 49 mm

vivitar Flash autothyristor 2800

I put all but the Spiratone on my camera, Pentax K10D, set to manual focus and then on the menu to permissive (allow lens without A ring). I was indoors at night but they all took, at first glance, acceptable pictures.

I take medium distance landscapes, macros and indoor family pictures.

What do I need to watch out for. What aperture should I first use these lens at?
Any other hints on getting the most out of these manual lens. I had stated out with a fully manual olympus film camera so don't mind having manual focus but mostly worried about setting exposure; do I do everything through the lens like the old days?

12-14-2007, 07:44 PM   #2
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To set exposure in Manual, just use the green button. it will stop the lens down and meter for you.

Checking here it seems like they're all good performers. congrats on a great purchase! 20mm is wonderful wide-angle on a film camera, if you've got one.
12-14-2007, 07:47 PM   #3
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Thats a score
I wish that I could find something like that.
12-14-2007, 08:05 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by weatherwise2 Quote
I take medium distance landscapes, macros and indoor family pictures.

What do I need to watch out for. What aperture should I first use these lens at?
Any other hints on getting the most out of these manual lens. I had stated out with a fully manual olympus film camera so don't mind having manual focus but mostly worried about setting exposure; do I do everything through the lens like the old days?
This was a great find!! Congrats. It's not really possible to answer the first question you asked. Aperture settings are dependant on what you want to achieve with each shot. Wide open to try and focus on a single subject and have an out of focus background (and/or foreground) to isolate the subject. Or wide open to get more light and a faster shutter speed to capture movement. Closed down to get greater depth of field or to slow the shutter speed down like the soft water effect on a waterfall. Each lens has a "sweet spot" where it's sharpest but generally speaking the best picture quality will be the middle apertures if you can get a shutter speed high enough to capture the image sharply.

As for setting exposure. You have to shoot in manual and use the green button for stop down metering. Once you've done it a little, you'll get fairly fast at doing it.

12-14-2007, 10:02 PM   #5
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Wow, I think that 20mm currently goes for about twice what you paid for the whole lot. Nicely done!
12-15-2007, 12:38 AM   #6
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Very nice deal, you are lucky!

I want to warn you, if there is really fungus on one lens, keep it away from others. It can spread from one lens to another.
12-15-2007, 01:19 AM   #7
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Great find!! I scored my 20 in a similar fashion with added bonus of a mint takumar 200 3.5. For the 20 set to Manual, meter using the green button and close it down 2 more stops after it has taken a reading. It takes a little getting used to and closing down varies depending on your aperture and iso. The 50 is very, very sharp comparable to anything Pentax have released since. Its a macro lens with 1:2 ratio and likewise you need to adjust the shutter speed after you have taken a reading. All M lens have this metering problem as far as i know unfortunately but the coating on this line of lens is nothing short of stunning, say goodbye to CA forever!.

Sidenote: I often wonder why Pentax left the A and M formula behind, the FA and DA's seem to be rife with CA's....

Last edited by Kaimarx; 12-15-2007 at 01:47 AM.
12-15-2007, 02:04 AM   #8
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$175 ?!?
Man, that's like what 90GBP, gosh.... for that price I possibly couln't get any single one of those here where I am, well done. Congrats and enjoy...

12-15-2007, 04:07 AM   #9
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Thanks for the advice. I will move that lens until I get to look at critically. Neither the manual nor the Pentax K10D Magic Lantern books had mentioned using the green button for the M lens, but understanding its function makes sense. When I first put them on last night I tried using the preview mode on the on/off switch and that seemed to get an metered exposure. It sounds like I might still be able to use the EV compensation as well.

I just have to get out there and try the settings before I need to use them in a more rushed fashion.
12-15-2007, 03:45 PM   #10
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Dont forget to change the switch from AF-S to MF also or the green button wont work.....happy shooting.
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